Despite Covid, contentious elections, and civil unrest (or maybe because of these), the powersports industry actually experienced incredible gains in 2020, across moto-genres. The Motorcycle Industry Council recently published a report on the previous year, detailing the sales successes across 2020. It would appear hopping on a motorcycle, trike, or four wheeler became a preferred mode and method of social distancing and escaping the endless stream of negativity swirling around us.Read More
Author: Rob Brooks
I got word that Dale Walksler, the founder and president of the wonderful Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, Tennessee, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dale was 69 years old. The news struck me hard, as several of us Road Dirt guys were just up there back in September, touring this famous museum of American motorcycling. I’ve visited the museum 5-6 times since they first opened in 2002, and have always marveled at not only the vast collection of American motorcycle history they have amassed, but how every bike in the collection actually runs. Yet best of all was Dale’s personal touch. Until his health prevented it, Dale was often out on the floor, meeting patrons and discussing bikes, history, great rides and fond memories, a precedent the rest of their staff continues to practice. Wheels Through Time truly is, “The Museum That Runs.”Read More
I must admit to being a bit old school here. When I ride, I like to hear the sound of the bike beneath me, the wind rushing by around me. And yet, I concede the lure of listening to music, getting turn by turn GPS directions, or even taking a phone call in the helmet, has begun to have its appeal. Heck, our Road Dirt guys ride with varying degrees connection while out on the road. Joshua rocks open-faced helmets, “biker” style, completely unplugged, yet Ted plugs in tunes via earbuds to soundtrack his adventures, while Phil blasts classic hard rock through the fairing mount sound system in his Harley. And the rest of us kind of fall in among those variations.Read More
The other night, while the wife was working on some budget stuff, I was thumbing through our DVD collection while cleaning up a shelf. The movie “Why We Ride” caught my eye, and I decided to pop it in while I worked, since I’d not viewed the documentary in several years. Soon I was transfixed, seated on the floor, gazing at the beautiful scenes of riding, soaking in the stories and testimonies of motorcycle riders, racers, builders and adventurers. I’d intended to merely click though various scene selections, but instead found myself captured again by the movie and the people in it, watching it from start to finish. From road trips to racing, asphalt to dirt, senior adults to children, the sheer love of riding the movie displays across all lines was palpable. By the end, I was in tears, so thankful I’m able to experience the joy of two wheels and a motor. Lisa, a non-rider, had slipped in near the end, and as I sat through the credits where each person interviewed for the movie was identified, she remarked, “That was really good.” Yes dear, it was, and is.Read More
There are a number of what many call, “necessary evils” we all must contend with in life. Those inevitables of which we say, “can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” They include government, taxes, lawyers, mothers-in-law, to name a few. Insurance might be named among these as well. It’s a hassle to deal with, and not often easy on the bank account. But if you’ve ever “been down” as I have, (and it’s often not a question of “if” but of “when”) having the right insurance coverage with the right company can mean the difference between getting back on the road in a timely fashion, or languishing indefinitely on the front porch.Read More
Now with this year’s crowning of Joan Mir in the 2020 MotoGP road racing series, Suzuki has revealed a special edition run of their GSX-R monarchs over the years, each in the paint scheme of the year it stood atop the GP championship. Each will come stock with an Akrapovic exhaust system and livery-matched seat cowling. They are beautiful recreations of their championship counterparts, and we thought we’d share them with you, if you haven’t beheld them yet.Read More
Whether it’s weather, holidays, or some other circumstances that keeps me from riding, being off the bike for too long always leaves me with an itch- something many of us can relate to. Being cooped up in the house even without the occasional escape for a few hours of riding can get old. I have the overwhelming urge to pack my gear on the bike, throw a dart at a map and hit the road! You know what that means- get out your motorcycle road trip checklist and start the planning process. This will be over before we know it, so we had best be ready!Read More
What a year this has been. Unlike anything most of us have ever lived through before. A pandemic that resulted in national and worldwide shutdowns, and it’s rebounding as we near the end of the year; a crazy, toxic election that has left many Americans deeply divided and resentful of each other; riots, wildfires, quarantining, isolation, separation, virtual meetings and Zoom calls. And now a stimulus bill that scatters American wealth to the four winds yet tosses bread crumbs to struggling families and businesses. Oh, and did I mention “murder hornets” and Joro spiders?
We all could use a little “peace on earth, goodwill to men” this Christmas.
An old motorcycling adage asserts, “You’ll never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office”, and medical science has proven it true. In a neurobiological study conducted by a team of researchers at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and funded by Harley-Davidson, it was found that motorcycling “increased metrics of focus and attention, and decreased relative levels of cortisol, a hormonal marker of stress.” Of course, we riders already knew this in general principle, but now the science bears it out.Read More
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